Genealogy: Other options for transferring video to DVD

By Barry J. Ewell

Professional service  
Pay a professional to convert your VHS tapes to DVD–although this service is expensive.  It may be worth the money if the thought of doing it yourself makes you cringe.

Use a DVD recorder
If you don’t have a PC, you can use a DVD recorder.  The basic method for transferring video from VHS to DVD using standard equipment isn’t complicated.  You can connect a RCA cable from the VCR’s video and audio outputs to the DVD recorder’s inputs, press Play on the VCR, and press Record on the DVD recorder.  That’s all there is to it.  You don’t need any additional gear, such as a PC video capture card because the DVD recorder has all the necessary capture and conversion features.

There are several situations you may want to consider, however, before using a DVD recorder: 1) Unfortunately, there’s no way to speed up the recording process; every minute of tape takes a minute to record, 2) Even though the DVD recorder’s remote allows you to separate scenes, as well as add a menu with titles and corresponding photos (selected within the video), editing features are very limited and time consuming. In fact, you will probably need the patience of Job to do anything other than transferring video to DVD, and 3) if you plan to add special features to your video (such as narration, background music, rearranging scenes, or adding photos), using a computer is a better option.